On Free Trade
Free trade is good!-- it must be because its got the word free in it!-- and a rising tide lifts all boats, amirite?
Where's my boat?
Free trade is not some sort of magical mystical good-in-itself. Making trade more free is obviously profitable for some traders. But higher tariffs are just as obviously good for other people, by protecting American companies and jobs. Similarly, ensuring safe food and other commodities is good for consumers, and not always conducive to the freest of trade relationships.
Free-for-all trade is good for capitalists. (And I don't mean entrepreneurs or small business owners. I mean capitalists: people who buy and sell and make a profit without adding value. This confusion of terms has long contributed to Main Street mistakenly thinking its interests are perfectly aligned with those of Wall Street.)
The people who were young adults when NAFTA passed are middle-aged now. We know what happened to our jobs, or the jobs of our friends and relatives. NAFTA was a disaster for the working class.
In fact, we voted for Obama partly based on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA.
He did not honor that promise. He didn't even try. Instead, he tried (is still trying!) to stick it to us again, with the TPP.
We know what happened with NAFTA, and we know TPP is more of the same. So: stop it.
Labels: free trade, Obama, TPP